News & Analysis

  1. female-voices-silicon-valley1

    Fair warning: Pandoland is not that kind of conference

    Most people take for granted that the 21st century Western world believes women should have a voice. And yet, as America starts to become a place where white, straight men are a minority– a small but significant group of those men are doing everything they can to smack women back down. You know some of the men I’m talking about: Brogrammers in Silicon Valley, those who send death threats to female games journalists in the name of “ethics”, anyone who…
  3. pando-breaking-news-small

    Uber database breach compromises the name and drivers license data of 50,000 drivers

    Uber revealed in statement today that the names and driver’s license numbers of as many as 50,000 of its current and former drivers may have been compromised. Approximately 21,000 of these drivers were based in California. The company identified the responsible database vulnerability in September of last year, and said that the unauthorized access occurred in May of the same year. The company began notifying the affected drivers today, while also notifying the California attorney general’s office of the breach. [via LA Times]
  4. house-of-cards

    Read all 13 recaps from our sleepless House of Cards marathon

    Netflix just flipped the switch on Season Three of House of Cards, and with a pot of coffee brewing and a freezer full of popsicles (nothing but the coldest snacks for the coldest show on television) I’m staying up all night to watch it. Follow all the outrageous political machinations here (and on my Twitter feed) as I recap each episode. Note: This isn’t a live blog like the one at the Verge which, with Ross Miller at the helm, is…
  5. telecom satelite

    Courts deem CallFire a common carrier, setting a major precedent at intersection of telecom and tech law

    CallFire scored a legal victory today that could have significant downstream implications for the broader technology and telecom industries. In the case Rinky Dink, Inc. vs. Electronic Merchant Systems, heard in the US District Court for the Western District of Washington, two plaintiffs claimed that CallFire had violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), the Announcing Device (WADAD) statute, and Washington State law by facilitating unwanted prerecorded sales calls by a vendor selling credit card processing services. CallFire…
  7. facebook_date_pd

    Facebook now allows its users, not a drop-down menu, to define their genders

    Facebook might not allow drag queens or Native Americans to use their real names on its service, but it looks like the company isn’t totally insensitive to its users’ various cultures. The company revealed yesterday that it will no longer define genders via the drop-down list that appeared whenever someone made or updated their Facebook profile information. Instead, the service will now allow users to input whatever gender they like, and to choose which pronoun…
  8. Kim Dotcom

    Kim Dotcom’s Mega is dropped by PayPal over end-to-end encryption, may adopt Bitcoin instead

    Mega, the end-to-end encrypted cloud storage platform founded by mercurial entrepreneur and occasional outlaw Kim Dotcom, is back in the news. This time, the company’s primary adversary is PayPal, which earlier this week cancelled its payments processing contract. In a blog post on the news, Mega writes: Eventually PayPal made a non-negotiable decision to immediately terminate services to MEGA. PayPal has apologised for this situation and confirmed that MEGA management are upstanding and acting in good faith. PayPal acknowledged…
  9. wannabe-jihadis

    The War Nerd: Why did Mohammed Emwazi become Jihadi John?

    Everybody knows by now that Jihadi John, that masked man with the bowie knife and the London accent, is actually Mohammed Emwazi, a rich boy from Maida Vale, one of the poshest neighborhoods in one of the most expensive cities in the world. Why, oh why, would a rich boy from a nice home go on to make snuff movies? That’s the whine you hear from the press. As always, first thing to do is question the question; why…
  11. strictly-business

    NastyGal raises $16M from Apple retail guru Ron Johnson, plans retail rollout

    Women’s fashion etailer NastyGal has raised $16 million in a round led by former Apple retail guru Ron Johnson, who will join the company’s board of directors. The company is in the early stages of launching its own brick-and-mortar retail strategy. The round comes shortly after NastyGal founder and CEO Sophia Amoruso stepped down as CEO, taking the Executive Chairman role while ceding day to day control of the struggling business to then company President, Sheree Waterson. [via ReCode]
  12. dick-costolo-twitter

    Twitter keeps Dick Costolo’s promise with new anti-harassment tools

    Dick Costolo wasn’t kidding when he said Twitter would better handle abuse in the future. The company has introduced new features — one which allows its users to report when others are posting their personal information and another which requires trolls to verify their phone numbers or email addresses with the service — to address its harassment problem. The first feature might have the most immediate impact. Sharing personal information about someone is a common…
  14. San Francisco

    SF’s real income inequality issue isn’t hipsters priced out of homes — It’s the homeless

    As the tech boom continues to bring more and more attention to San Francisco’s socioeconomic issues, a well-trod narrative has emerged: Tech companies have brought more and more upper-middle class workers to the Bay Area where housing — affordable or otherwise — has been limited by geographic and legislative pressures. Inevitably, already-high housing prices go up, while landlords adopt creative ways to push long-time residents out of their homes to make way for the new tech gentry. The result is that San…
  15. tech-vc-coffee

    Capping a big month for coffee startups, Blue Bottle Coffee acquires Perfect Coffee

    The term “coffee startup” may sound like a punchline to Silicon Valley observers eager to call “bubble” at any investment that doesn’t involve self-driving cars or other world-beating technology. But don’t tell that to Blue Bottle Coffee. Just a week after crosstown rival Philz Coffee raised $15 million, the Oakland-based specialty coffee roaster has acquired the Bay Area startup Perfect Coffee. As to Perfect Coffee’s caffeinated pedigree, we’ll defer to a media outlet that knows far more…
  16. pando-breaking-news-small

    Report: Elon Musk to begin construction on Hyperloop test track in 2016

    Wired reports that a test track for Elon Musk’s ambitious Hyperloop, which the SpaceX/Tesla entrepreneur first publicly mentioned at one of our PandoMonthly events, will begin construction next year. The track will only be five miles long — which is apparently too short to build up to the 800 mph speed — but it’s an exciting proof of concept for what Musk describes as “the fifth mode of transport. [Source: Wired]
  18. Hammerbacher_w-Logos

    Join Cloudera founder and “Data God” Jeff Hammerbacher at our next San Francisco PandoMonthly

    There are many reasons to be impressed by the next guest of PandoMonthly San Francisco, Jeff Hammerbacher. (If you don’t need the list, go here to get your $20 ticket now.) The first is that he cut his teeth as part of the very early Harvard/ Facebook mafia gang, that included a motley — but let’s face it, impressive– crew of Chris Hughes, Dustin Moskowitz, Eduardo Saverin, and Adam D’Angelo. The second is that he was part of the…
  19. Lunch Sandwich

    Strange new legal complaint alleges that Google tried to steal employees’ lunch

    Google has just been slapped with another class action wage-theft lawsuit complaint. Unlike previous successful wage theft filings, however, this complaining obtained by Pando, is oddly vague. The complaint, “Rosa Gutierrez v Google,” filed in the Santa Clara County Superior Court, alleges that the search engine giant violated a number of California labor laws governing lunch time, daytime breaks, overtime pay and others. That certainly may all be true, and the law firm representing the plaintiffs, Matern Law Group, is a reputable southern California employment…
  20. Dark Uber

    Uber says it loves the military. So why is its auto-loan partner screwing over veterans?

    Among the many themes at our 24-hour Don’t Be Awful event was that no company is 100 percent “good” or 100 percent “bad.” Take Uber. The transportation platform, under the leadership of Randian fratboy Travis Kalanick, has done plenty of awful things, from recklessly abusing its location tracking technology to promoting a sexist corporate culture to aspiring to smear unfriendly journalists like Pando’s own Sarah Lacy. But to be frank the company also does some good. For example, Uber has made…

The Week in Review